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I don't have any bees yet, but am thinking about next year when I will....

A beekeeper suggested that I treat my package of bees next year with OAV prior to installation. The suggestion was to remove the queen cage, apply OA to the workers only, then immediately go through the normal installation process.

Does this sound reasonable or are there potential issues regarding queen acceptance, absconding, etc.?

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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You have like 9 days before it's needed, the dust needs to be all over the hive, then they pack it out, which gets the mites into it.
 

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I personally like waiting until a week after install. Install your bees, feed them. a week later OAV. The mites will still be exposed and the colony will be locked in as a colony and not a bunch of freaking out bees newly installed. Also, OAV does not do a very good job when the bees are in a tight cluster, so bees in a package will affect the percentage of kill.
 

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I have been treating all new swarms, packages, purchased nucs, and divides with Apivar immediately upon starting them. And feeding them one gallon Prosweet. The effect of these two crutches is dramatic. $7 dollars invested returns a few boxes of honey in return. Just had a 94 pound average crop off one overwintered hive, one package and three swarms treated in this manner. The overwintered hive was treated in fall, the new four in spring.
 

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Treating bees while still in the package is sometimes done, but mostly in other countries. No, there are no issues with absconding or with queen acceptance that I am aware of. I have done it and then repeated the OAV treatment 7 days after installing the package. If you are set on doing it, put the package in an empty hive body and then treat it. The issues you can encounter are: poor penetration of the OAV into the package because a lot of it will solidify and collect on the screen. The oxalic acid residue on the empty hive body and on the package can be an issue when you install the package. You would be well advised to wear your protective gear when handling either.
But, as others have said, treating the package after installation and before there is any capped brood will be effective and require less work on your part.
 

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I personally like waiting until a week after install. Install your bees, feed them. a week later OAV. The mites will still be exposed and the colony will be locked in as a colony and not a bunch of freaking out bees newly installed. Also, OAV does not do a very good job when the bees are in a tight cluster, so bees in a package will affect the percentage of kill.
Totally agree. :thumbsup:
 
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